New Works


24-482 – Yikartu Bumba


1 in stock

Yikartu Bumba
Acrylic on Canvas
46 x 76 cm
Year: 2024

Yirtal and Jupurrl

“Two yintas (permanent springs) in my ngurra (home Country, camp); the yintas are Yirtal and Jupurrl. They are kakarra (east) of Kulyakartu and kayili (north) side of Wirnpa. I was a married woman when I was walking around this place, pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) time. I married a good man. There’s lots of kapi (water) there. Lots of yukari (green grass, vegetation). Plenty of bushtucker, pussycat and goanna. There’s no kapi when you first get there, but you dig him up and then there’s lots of kapi. We’ve got to take all the kids to that ngurra. Show them my daddy’s ngurra. There’s another waterhole, not far from there called Jakapinka. A jila (snake) made that kapi. It’s my brother’s Country. Not far from these yintas.”

– Yikartu Bumba

Yirtal is a soak located within the Percival Lakes region. The site is surrounded by a vegetation that needs to be cleared before accessing the water there. Yirtal is Yikartu’s ngurra through her father. As she recount, nearby water sources include Jupurl and Jakapinka.

During the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) days, Yikartu and her family travelled extensively through this Country. At this time Martu would traverse very large distances annually in small family groups, moving seasonally from water source to water source, and hunting and gathering bush tucker as they went. Knowledge of water sources was critical for survival, and today Martu Country is still defined in terms of the location and type of water. Each of the hundreds of claypans, rockholes, waterholes, soaks and springs found in the Martu desert homelands is known by name, location, quality and seasonal availability through real life experience and the recounting of Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives. 

The region surrounding Yurlpu was formed by Wirnpa, one of the most powerful of the ancestral jila (snake) men and the last to travel the desert during the Jukurrpa. Wirnpa is a rainmaking jila who lived and hunted in the Percival Lakes area. His travels are described in the songs and stories of many language groups across the Western Desert, even those far removed from his home site. In his epic travels, Wirnpa met and feasted with many other ancestral beings, exchanged ceremonial objects, and created a series of different laws and ceremonies. When he finally returned home, he searched for his many children only to discover that they had already died. They had laid down and become the salt springs of the Percival Lakes. Wirnpa wept for his children before himself transforming into a snake and entering the soak where he still resides.

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Martumili Artists acknowledges the Nyiyaparli and Martu people as the Traditional Owners of the land we live and work on. We also acknowledge the Traditional Owners throughout our country and our Elders; past, present and emerging.